Two things happened today that brought a boiling, bubbling, half-formed rant to the surface of my mind and have caused me to splatter it onto these pages.
One: I read this excellent rant by Cara Sutra on sex bloggers, and the pressure on them to get naked and post pics.
Two: Twitter decided, in its infinite wisdom, to automatically show me every single picture someone posts on my timeline without me having to open it.
Batten down the hatches.
Words are sexy
I think words are filthy hot. The wet I get from a picture becomes a torrent if you use just the right words. While I love dick pics, a well-growled ‘take your fucking pants off’ lights up my ‘oh God yes’ sensors like a win on the fruit machines.
I started this blog because I love words – I think words are sexy. I thought a blog would be the best way to start getting some sexy words out there and receiving some sexy words in return.
But I can’t just restrict myself to words, apparently. Words, on their own, are less valuable than something which has been pimped and packaged and effectively promoted with imagery. Some facts:
- Google gives more prominence to articles which contain images and/or video content.
- Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm gives more weight to posts which contain an image.
- Twitter now gives image posts more space in the timeline.
The bottom line is: if you want to get noticed on the internet, you have to post some pictures. This, as one who can barely point a camera in the right direction, annoys me.
I’m so, like, 19th century
Yeah, sure – a picture speaks a thousand words. But you know what else speaks a thousand words? A writer. A writer who’s spent time and effort carefully crafting some fuckawesome horny shit, only to find that barely 200 people find it because it’s been bumped down or scrolled over in favour of something shinier, brighter, and probably animated into a fucking gif.
There’s value in pictures, of course. There are some amazing images that stir both emotions and loins, and I love looking at some of the beautiful things that my fellow bloggers produce. But I don’t think we all need to produce them. Some of us do pictures, some words, some both. And the idea that a blog will be any better just because it contains the requisite number of image files is like complaining that Charles Dickens didn’t encourage his audience to engage with Oliver Twist by scrawling some stick figures into the margins.
It’s our fault
Yes us – we are to blame. Internet scrollers and clickers and desirers of beautiful pictures. Facebook, Twitter et al don’t do this just to piss off bloggers like me who are as unskilled with a cameraphone as they are with a surgical saw. The networks do this because content that is words – just words – gets less attention. We, the people, click it less frequently. We leave the page more quickly. We exit stage left, following a banner ad in gif format, with those lovely perpetually jiggling tits.
I’m not saying you’re awful people – on the contrary, if you’re here then you’re lovely as all hell and have my undying gratitude for every click, like, retweet and comment. You also have my apologies: the few photos of me that there are on this site are rarely updated or added to, if only because whenever I take a picture with a phone it comes out looking like it was taken by accident.
But what I am saying is that those of us who like words – who want our reads long and our content un-giffed – we might just need to work a bit harder. Get beyond those first shiny Google results with the video stills. Scroll past the flashy images and the ‘OMG you won’t believe what happened to this kitten next’ captions. Sit down, pay attention, put your hand down your pants and read something hot. And if you like something wordy – the sounds and the ideas behind a piece of content that doesn’t happen to have a cleavage shot posted temptingly at the top – for God’s sake share it. We, the wordy, salute and thank you.
Now here’s a picture of my arse.